Caring Choices was conceived as an avenue for exploration of unknown paths. Emotional passages in the minds of those who are either forced, or choose, to face the decisions surrounding the logistics of dying. To say this is an unpopular topic is to minimize the reactions we have had to date. To say that this is a fact everyone must face eventually is a fact as unavoidable as death itself. And on and on then go the Blogs and dialog, questions and scenarios in hopes of preparing for this end. Not as if to assume the answers are easily found. In fact, the answers are often never known. More important than the correct answer are the psychological benefits of the discussion itself.
And naturally after most conceptions, comes birth. The birth for us has come in the form of an idea. An idea that unknown to me was developing slowly year after year in my wife’s mind. While listening to me repeat over and over the same phrase to describe the often devastating impact of my discussions (with patients and families during my Home Care, Hospice and Transitional Care admissions), a seed was planted. “Elephant in the Room” was that phrase. To me, it represented the unspoken understanding that life-altering changes were rapidly at hand, and repeatedly never addressed. Most always, these changes had been a long time coming, and too often the consequences remained unknown. Certain formal planning had been made of course, including my presence which indicated discharge planning or outpatient referrals that acknowledged needs at hand. But often the long-range outcomes and personal emotional impacts were just never talked about.
Enter the birth of “The Elephant”. Elephant in the Room™ is our combined effort to help fill the voids and gaps in communication among family members and loved ones who struggle with discussing and planning for these inevitable changes. Four specialized categories of 96 questions/scenarios represent our collaborative experience as hospice nurse, medical social worker, family caregiver, friend and sibling in a series of questions we encountered at some point in our lives and careers. The answers to these questions are up to each individual as they explore their own unique set of circumstances. Currently in the production stage (and Patent/Trademark Pending) we offer this concept as a guide for use in almost every situation calling for the thoughtful consideration of how life’s changes will affect us.
Caring Choices offers Elephant in the Room™ as an opportunity to engage family and friends in meaningful exploration of the emotional and logistical preparations that life changes will require of all of us. Time and again the situations around us change, and sometimes suddenly without expectation. Please contact us for more information on how to bring attention to and thoughtful discussion about the Elephant in your room.
© 2014 Caring Choices